Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Omar on Ice

Kovalski, Maryann (Author/Illustrator)
Fitzhenry & Whiteside 2002. 32 pages
First published: 1999
ISBN: 9781550417838 (paperback)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Omar aspires to be a great artist when he grows up, but at school, the teacher can never figure out what he has drawn. His classmates make it look so easy; their rockets and flowers and rocks are perfect. Discouraged, he throws his work in the trash. Later, when the class goes skating on the frozen pond at recess, Omar discovers there is more than one way to draw a picture.

Simple, straightforward language, rich in metaphor and simile, conveys the idea that art is subjective and that some of us just need to use “a different kind of pencil.”

Kovalski’s chubby brown bear, dressed in a winter scarf and earmuffs, has instant kid-appeal. A gentle muted palate depicts wintry scenes as well as the endearing facial expressions of the protagonist, desperate to produce a beautiful drawing.

This deceptively simple read-aloud is an important reminder to children that everyone has different skills and talents and that showcasing them is “easy when you don’t worry.”

  •  Omar dreamed of becoming an artist. What dreams do you have? Draw a picture of your dream and write a sentence about it.
  •  

    Discuss what artists do. Brainstorm a list of other kinds of artists such as sculptors, musicians, writers, filmmakers or designers. What kind of artist are you?

  •  

    Discuss the bigger themes of self-acceptance and self-confidence. What did Omar and his friends learn about themselves? What advice did Omar give to his Elsie that could benefit everyone? What did Thomas really mean when he said that Omar “. . . just needed a different kind of pencil”?

  •  

    Discuss Omar’s situation and your own. In which situations do you feel competent? When do you feel less so?

  •  Create a story map.
  •  

    Make a poster presentation of one (or some) of the things you enjoy, are good at or practise a lot. Write about how you trained or practised for something and the results you got. Add pictures of your performance(s). 

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To use creativity
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Visual Arts